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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Required Seismic Certification and Special Inspections for Non-structural Components and Designated Seismic Systems, Effective July 1, 2017

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Effective July 1, 2017 the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) implemented the provisions of the 2014 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) section 1705.11.4 requiring special inspections of designated seismic systems and section 1705.12.3 requiring seismic certification of certain nonstructural components for structures designated as Risk Category III or IV.

Background: After a major earthquake, building systems often sustain more damage than the structure itself. Some of these systems are necessary for the building to function after an earthquake, such as key electrical, plumbing, fire and mechanical (gas, heating, ventilating) systems. It is particularly important to ensure the following types of buildings remain functional and allow for continued operation of the building after an earthquake: buildings that represent a substantial hazard to human life such as high occupancy public assemblies; schools, water and waste water treatment facilities; public utility facilities and facilities with large quantities of toxic and explosive materials; buildings that are designated as essential facilities such a hospitals and first responder facilities; designated emergency operation centers; designated emergency shelters; water storage facilities; and water pump structures needed to maintain water pressure for fire suppression.

Certification requirements will be applicable only to Essential Facilities and High Occupancy structures (Risk Category III and IV per the 2014 OSSC Table 1604.5)

BDS will require seismic certification and special inspections only for new construction or on existing buildings when the system is upgraded, equipment is replaced, or a change of occupancy occurs whereby the building is reclassified to a Risk Category III or IV.

Additional information may be found through the following link to the Code guide on this topic
Contact Information:
Amit Kumar, Senior Structural Engineer at or at 503-823-7561